How to Choose the Right LPN College near Napa California
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide education to become an LPN near Napa CA. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
What is an LPN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous tasks that they accomplish in the Napa CA health care facilities where they practice. As their titles signify, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including California. Even though they may be accountable for managing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves typically work under the guidance of either an RN or a doctor. The healthcare facilities where they work are numerous and diverse, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Anywhere that you can find patients in need of medical assistance is their dominion. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can’t perform. So depending on the state, their day-to-day work functions may include:
- Measuring vital signs
- Administering medications
- Initiating IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Keeping patient records
- Assisting physicians or RNs with procedures
In addition to their work functions being governed by each state, the medical facilities or other Napa CA healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. In addition, they can practice in various specialties of nursing, such as long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
Online LPN Programs
Attending LPN programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing certificate or degree in Napa CA. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online LPN program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) was $45,030 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,970, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $61,030. Most licensed practical nurses near Napa CA work full time, although about 1 in 5 worked part time in 2016. Many work nights, weekends, and holidays, because medical care takes place at all hours. They may be required to work shifts of longer than 8 hours. Employment of LPNs is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026. Job prospects should be favorable for LPNs who are willing to work in rural and medically under served areas.
What to Ask LPN Schools
Now that you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, as well as if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Napa CA as well as within California and throughout the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Napa CA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for LPNs vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for California or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the California school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Napa CA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Napa CA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby Napa CA community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in an LPN Program near Napa CA?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending an LPN school near Napa CA, you may find the following information both interesting and useful when making your final decision.
Napa is the largest city and the county seat of Napa County, in California's Wine Country. It is the principal city of the Napa County Metropolitan Statistical Area, with a population of 80,011 as of the 2010 census. It is the second-largest city in California's Wine Country, after Santa Rosa. Napa was incorporated as a city in 1872.
The name "Napa" was probably derived from the name given to a southern Nappan village whose native people shared the area with elk, deer, grizzlies and cougars for many centuries, according to Napa historian Kami Santiago. At the time of the first recorded exploration into Napa Valley in 1823, the majority of the inhabitants consisted of Native American Indians. Padre José Altimira, founder of Mission San Francisco Solano in Sonoma, led the expedition. Spanish priests converted some natives; the rest were attacked and dispersed by Spanish soldiers. American farmers began arriving in the 1830s.
Before California was granted statehood in 1849, the Napa Valley was in the Territory of California's District of Sonoma. In 1850 when counties were first organized, Napa became one of the original counties of California. At the time, its boundaries also included Lake County to the north. By this time, the indigenous people were either working as field laborers or living in small bands in the hills surrounding the valley. Tensions between the white settlers and Native Americans broke into war in 1850, with a white man's death resulting in soldiers hunting down and killing all the natives they could find, driving the remainder north toward Clear Lake. In 1851, the first courthouse was erected. By 1870, the Native American population consisted of only a few laborers and servants working for the white settlers.
Pick the Right LPN Program near Napa CA
Enrolling in the ideal Licensed Practical Nurse program is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you choose an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. You originally decided to visit this website because of an interest in LPN Online Classes. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become an LPN in Napa CA.
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